South of Spain Roadtrip: Carmona and Madinat al-Zahra

After Seville, we drove towards Cordoba, and made a stop for a couple hours in a Spanish white town called Carmona.  Tom basically randomly picked a town to stop for lunch.  AND it was SOOO lovely.  ENTIRE town was SOO WHITE.  I couldn’t help but wonder how do they maintain it so white??   And even though the town is SO OLD, it is still SO clean.   We also had the BEST lunch here – basically the only “restaurant” that was open near the city gate, and where people could go for a drink or a bite.  Everywhere else was closed – and totally deserted.  What do the people in this town do?  Do they work ?  There isn’t much tourists either.   Who lives in these houses and what do they do for a living ?

Carmona

CarmonaCarmona
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Carmona

While walking around, we came upon a historic building and we thought it was the city hall.  Turned out to be a luxury resort!!!  VERY Boutique – very chic, yet elegant and classic.  Perfect for a destination wedding!   With pool and a beautiful view of endless green lands.

Carmona
this was the courtyard of the hotel!

Carmona
me peeking into the closed off dining room.
Even the arches were in moorish style!!!

Carmona
a lounge room.  Love the reds.  didn’t think a room so red could be so lovely.

Carmona
and the view from the hotel. 

Carmona
Carmona
that’s the carmona city gate!

Carmona
While eating lunch we read the local newspaper.  front page news – the huge unemployment issue.
The population of Sevilla is about 700,000.  From the workforce population, 247 are unemployed.

Staggering numbers.  in the province of andalucia, 1 MILLION are unemployed.

what struck me as very strange was despite the high unemployment rate,
people were still out – eating, drinking, hanging out.  Especially the younger generation.
Couldn’t help but wonder how do you have money to spend on eating out without a job?

Carmona
best lunch ever.  2 very local stews, including a spinach stew.
it was PIPING hot and sooo hearty.

When I look back, I can’t help but think we did SO MUCH in one day.  After visiting Carmona, we drove on and reached cordoba only around 5 pm.  Then we checked into the hotel, and sometime during this confusion, we realized we were following the rental car’s clock – which was one hour behind!!!   So this castle ruins we wanted to see outside the city must be still open .  And we took the last bus to go up to these hills.  It reminded me of the bus ride at Hearst Castle – except we were visitng RUINS that were over 1000 years old!!!  I couldn’t imagine, right here in 900 ADs.  There was a beautiful palace, with underground tunnels specially for the king to access the mosque.  And from where he could view his land, and his city.  It was simply amazing.

Carmona
Carmona
Carmona
Carmona
Carmona
Carmona

Afterwards, we went back to town, and followed a restaurant recommendation from a food blog.  Turned out to be GOOD!!!!

Carmona
NOT gazpacho.  This soup is called salmorejo.  Very typical south of spain.
It was a thick yummy tomato soup.
But I did find that I burped a lot after this soup (and unpleasant burps!) like when you’ve had
a lot of capsicums.

Carmona
a kind of delicious stew with calamari and chickpeas

CarmonaCarmona
Left: a local dish of breaded pork cutlet stuffed with cheese
RIght: FRIED ROASTED PORK BELLY – just like the chinese! and this was DEEP FRIED (soo unhealthy! haha)
It was so great that to see that this culture loved eating pork belly just like Chinese! Smile 

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2 comments

  1. Leena

    They Actually give me the creeps….so empty…where is everyone?

    • haha no idea! but there were so many restaurants (all closed) so perhaps the town comes alive at night . you will see in italian small ancient towns also like this!

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